Thursday, December 2, 2010
Beadworkers Seven Deadly Sins: Sin #5 - Rudeness
Thou shalt not flame other designers, sellers, recreational beaders or anyone else online.
Right off, let me say that this will not apply to most of you. My experience online, in social networking, blogging etc.
has overall demonstrated that most people are courteous and decent. However...
Recently, Peter Sewell, Beadsage, departed from the Bead Mavens. In his usual style, Peter made a brief, to-the-point announcement. We, the Bead Mavens, posted our regrets at losing an outstanding artist and the only male voice we had. I'm going to miss, particularly,
Peter's wonderful British wit and his way of calling a spade a spade. I know we'll all miss him, but we understood his decision.
However, a small firestorm of whys and wherefores began after his announcement.
Peter extinquished it in short order with an I-am-not-dead blog.
And as it should end. With respect on both sides. And courtesy. And no soap operas.
Unfortunately - in the Age of Facebook, Twitter, things do not always end so well. And while Beaders seem to be an extraordinarily generous and supportive group, there's always that exception to the rule, isn't there?
The Bad and the Ugly:
This above example of what I consider to be appropriate conduct served to remind me of something that's bothered me for some time...
In particular - and I'm not referring to any one person here because I've seen this a number of times - If you purchase something and are in any way unhappy with your purchase, do NOT leave an abusive comment on the shop's feedback or a nasty remark on a Facebook page. I suggest that you email the seller immediately. Give the seller a chance to address your problem or refund your money - whichever is appropriate. Most sellers are proud of their work and and want you to be happy with your buy. Moreover, they really value their businesses - and business is about keeping customers happy. If you've tried and failed to solve the problem privately (i.e. the seller does not respond), then, by all means, leave a poor review, but be fair. If you don't keep a somewhat civil tongue, I can promise you that you will be taken much less seriously by anyone reading your comment.
Regarding social networking sites in general. Don't you wish that folks who want to have a squabble with someone, emailed them? I mean if they really are at a point where they have a legitimate issue, wouldn't you rather they didn't sour everyone's day by sucker punching someoneone in their status update?
I don't mean bitching in a general way (we all have off days) - I mean naming names.
Recently, I posted this quote of Carlos Castenada's on Facebook:(From The Fire Within)
"Think about it: what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone."
In this sometimes graceless time, we are fortunate to be able to meet people from all over the world online. A click and a few words can give us the privilege of seeing a little into someone's world in Turkey or Indonesia or anywhere at all. At the same time, physical distance and the privacy settings can give us anonimity. Anonimity is no excuse for rudeness, for venting angry feelings.Whenever I feel offended by something of less magnitude than poverty or war or cruelty - I check my self-importance level. How much ego is in your complaint? It's saved me a lot of strife and regret.
And if someone flames you. Disconnect. Leave it unanswered. Don't give it attention it doesn't deserve.
Have a good day, everyone. Do onto others...